“My 2-1/2 year-old son adores my husband. I’m happy about that. I’m ok with taking the back seat since the 1st year of his life he only wanted me (and my breasts). But for the past 6 months, and with no end in sight, it’s not just that he prefers my husband. He actively does not want me to have anything to do with him if my DH is within 500 feet. I can’t put him to bed, I can’t sing him songs at night, I can’t change his clothes, ad infinitum. Of course, I still do these things when necessary, but they’re met with the utmost protest. If my DH is not around, my DS will grudgingly allow me to be in his presence
I’m trying to be mature about this (ahem) and not feel hurt. That works most of the time. But sometimes I just wonder when/if this stage will end. Is this it? Am I just not going to be a preferred member of his posse forever more? I had always heard that boys adored their mothers. Has anyone out there gone through this and come out the other end? Did their sons (or daughters) begin to gravitate toward them again? I guess I’m just thrown by the suddenness of how this all occured. I feel like the new wife my DH just married, trying to win over his toddler. But, hello! I pushed you out with no drugs, dammit. (Hmm, I’m beginning to sound like MY mother.)
So you know it’s normal, but it still hurts. I remember it vividly, and it hurt me, too. Heck, it still hurts now when they see their dad and run off to him and leave me hanging. (Of course that may also have something to do with the inherent weirdness of our co-parenting in a completely different–and probably healthier–way than we did while we were still together.)
And it really feels like you spent so much of your life giving and giving and giving and now he doesn’t want anything to do with you. It would be one thing if he was ready to go out of the nest completely, but the switching alliances to his dad while you’re still there just stings.
Two thoughts (and then I’m leaving for the airport):
1. I think it’s a biological thing. At this age, many mothers are having another child, so it makes total sense for the child to be programmed to prefer the dad at this point, so the mother can focus on the new baby. Even though there’s no new baby, his developmental stuff is still going on as programmed. Maybe you could get a cat, or take up a new hobby to keep yourself busy until he comes out of this phase.
2. It does change. At some point in the future he’ll want you again, and may even tell your husband, “No, I want Mom!” and refuse to let anyone else touch him.
I don’t want to miss my flight, so I’ll turn this over to the readers. Anyone else feels just hurt and insulted by this phase? When did it end?